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Employee age gaps threaten teamwork and productivity

Published by Employee Benefit News March 5, 2024

With four generations actively participating in the workforce, there's a lot employees can learn from each other. Instead, these age gaps may be getting in the way of progress — and productivity. 

  • In organizations where there is more than a 12-year age gap between employees and their managers, employees were 1.5 times more likely to report low productivity, according to recent research published by the London School of Economics and Protiviti.
  • The same employees were also three times more likely to be unsatisfied with their jobs. 

"What used to change in [a workforce's] culture, tools and values over the course of a century is now happening in five or 10 years," says Jordan Zaslav, chief operating officer at Axios HQ, an AI-powered internal communications platform. "So it's not that older managers are bad to their mentees or direct reports — they just don't understand them." 


"[Young talent] wants you to respect their time and be super efficient in your communications and in your actions with them," Zaslav says. "They want you to help them understand the 'why' and provide context. It all comes down to getting really sharp and clear and helping each person get the context that they need to feel excited and motivated." 

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